Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BBQ quest: Pup's Pit BBQ

This weekend was the annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, and I was seriously craving some barbecue after hearing about it from all my hometown friends. I told this to the guy who runs Pup's Pit BBQ on Walker Springs Road, where I stopped for lunch on Saturday. He told me I'd come to the right place as his was one of the only barbecue joints in town that takes the time to appropriately smoke the meat. My interest was piqued, because that's been my biggest beef with the pork in this town: it's never smoked long enough.

photos by the MG.

You kinda have to know Pup's is there or you're gonna miss it. It's wedged between a used car shop and the interstate onramp at Walker Springs. Like F.A.T.S. it's either take it to the picnic tables outside or take it to go. Oh, and one of the best parts of the setup? Your only utensil option is a spork.

They have a diverse menu, which on Saturday included stuff like shrimp and catfish, but since I'm in search for the perfect pulled pork sandwich, that's what I got. Dude was right about smoking the pork. He smokes it a very long time. Perhaps -- and I hate to suggest anyone oversmokes their pork -- but I think it was a little too long. The hickory flavor was a little too pronounced and the meat was dry. The sauce was more or less ketchup. The mac and cheese tasted like it was out of a box. BUT the beans, ohhhhh the baked beans. They were perfection.

I don't want this to sound like a bad review -- The sandwich still hit the spot on a day that I was seriously craving some 'cue, and I think I prefer oversmoked to undersmoked. It's also a decent stop for someone who might be interested in F.A.T.S. but lives out west and doesn't want to drive all the way in to town.

Pup's Pit BBQ
112 Walker Springs Rd
Knoxville, TN 37923
(865) 690-9822‎


Wax Sophocletus said...

Ah, shoot, well, what's a Maine kid know about Barbecue anyways...

The Modern Gal said...

The thing is, I think Pup's gets it more than most of the local BBQ joints. He understands the key is in the smoking. It's just a fine line, I guess (spoken by someone who admittedly has never tried to smoke her own BBQ).

Tere said...

You really have to try M&M on Middlebrook - you weren't that far away when you went to Pups. Their pulled pork is some of the best I've found in the area - good flavor, tender, juicy. We usually get a pound or two to take home.

will cote said...

dang. thanks for the pictures!

Anonymous said...

man I ate at Full-Service BBQ in Maryville on Sunday and it was AWESOME! If you get a chance swing over there and give it a taste!

It is in the remains of an old gas station.

Mackey said...

I ate at Pup's several months ago for the only time and think I had the exact plate, plus St. Louis ribs for good measure. I agree that it wasn't perfect but not terrible either, the beans were the best part. Oddly I think Sevier Co. had their bbq contest this past weekend going head-to-head with Memphis. I didn't attend but would consider it next year to avoid the long drive to Memphis. I'd like to hear about it if anyone was there.